Friday, 29 May 2009

Tales from the Gulag or visiting a patient in ZaNu Labour’s NHS 003 Patient Line

The other privilege of one of (in part) ZaNu Labour’s great NHS hospital reforms for patients is Patient Line now called Hospedia. (If something is crap and does not work change its name and hope to fool the Public).

Have a look at its website it tells you virtually nothing about it. Certainly it tells you it is a “service”. We won’t link to it.

Martin Lewis, the money saving expert, has something to say about this here.

In the old days there was a patients’ room on a ward with a television which was so true Old Labour. The telly room was always full of smoke and there were only ever ITV soaps and football matches on the telly as male and female patients in their dressing gowns and slippers watched TV.

Dare to ask to watch a BBC2 program or ask if someone could stop smoking and you were dead meat.

There was usually a pay phone, which, if you had enough 2p and 10p pieces and the phone had not been vandalised, there was a chance you could communicate with the outside world and passively smoke to the Coronation Street theme tune as well.

As a result of Old Labour’s injustices, New Labour have done better. Smoking is now banned in NHS hospitals but not at their entrances where it serves as a smoke screen to confuse low flying MRSA insurgences.

They have denied free access to television and introduced Patient Line.

If you have not been in hospital this is a “service” provided by the “free market” that is current New Labour NHS policy for patients for whom they are responsible.

You can use it to:

watch TV (for a price)

receive phone calls (for a price)

use the internet (for a price)

and even

play games (for a price).

Furthermore according to Patient Line plc for the “Long stay patient” -

(clearly, due to the increased productivity of NHS care no one has an illness lasting more than 3 days, as that is now a long “stay”).

you can pay £ 7.00 for TV alone for 3 days use.

The UK TV licence is £ 142.50 for 365 days or £ 0.39 a day. In prison the cost of a TV for a week is £1.00.

We at ND were asked by our relative to buy another £10.00 so they could watch TV as after several operations in the last 48 hours they were bored.

In 5 days they had been charged by the Party £20 to watch TV but had been out of it for 3 of these days. Furthermore because you can only pay in multiples of £10/£5.00/£3.50 depending your on stay time if you do not use the £3 on the card for something else (from Shaft a Patient Line) then this is non refundable unless you pay by credit/debit card.

Our relative did not take their card into hospital because they know what hospital security is like so this was not an option. Patient Line would not allow us to pay as the details on our card where different from those entered on the bedside console. We tried ringing the number no reply.

We are lucky, as we are over paid idle GPs on at least £ 250,000 (not) or 4.17 Hewitts per year.

(The Hewitt, is like the cubit, an ancient unit of measurement of currency equivalent to a former health minister’s bung for a British Telecom consultancy equivalent to £ 60,000 a year in addition to said MP’s pay and expenses).

So £20 would be pocket money if we did indeed get 4.17 Hewitts a year as the Party claim.

While trying to get our relative’s second card from a Patient Line machine that had been sabotaged by the cards on the machine advertising Patient Line being shoved into the slot to take your cash from you we spoke to a man who asked us how to use the machine to get a Patient Line card.

His son had multiple injuries and would be in hospital for weeks. He was retired and his son out of work and on benefits. The father’s comments were “we can’t afford that it is more per day than a TV licence and electricity just to watch TV? What is he going to do he can’t go anywhere for weeks”?

Perhaps if he commits the right crime he could get transferred to a hospital prison wing and get cheaper TV there?

If you have a captive ill audience what do you do for them if you are a caring Party?

Milk them of course.

While visiting our relative we have been toting up the costs of Gordon and Alan’s “free NHS”.

In the 5 days parking and TV have cost £ 35. If you were on a basic state pension(£ 95.25)would be 37% of your weekly income on “free healthcare”. Remember that does not include any phone calls to the patient.

Shaft a Patient Line gives you a dedicated phone next to a patient and charges calls at £0.39 per minute off peak and at £0.49 per minute (in Northernshire) at other times. You only find this out after you listen to a recorded Patient Line message of at least 45 seconds of spiel that you hear when you try to ring your loved one the costs being left to the end of the message.

This is before you can even speak to your relative so a nice little earner for Shaft a Patient Line.

Friends who have done this have found that the actual cost of Shaft a Patient Line phone call has been £2.00 per minute from mobiles or overseas. We await our next phone bill with interest.

Current BT calls to the USA from a landline at peak time are £ 0.23 a minute.

The most expensive international call by BT is £ 1.96 per minute to Cambodia, Diego Garcia, East Timor, French Polynesia, Marshall Island, Micronesia, Midway Island, New Caledonia, Samoa (Western), Soloman Islands, Tokelau, Tristan da Cunha, Wake Island and Wallis and Futuna.

All bar 3 are in the Pacific Ocean and Northernshire to Midway Island is a mere 6803 miles almost directly due North on a great circle route from Northernshire.

We do a lot of home visits to these countries and we usually ring patients before visiting so that is why we at ND Central know that calls to our patients here are so expensive. But ringing the other side of the world is cheaper than ringing a relative in hospital using Shaft a Patient Line from a mobile.

Praise be to the Party. No market only a monopoly in NHS care but a huge con in patient services.

Any one wonder why it took so long before mobiles were allowed in hospitals as some of the charges go to the hospitals? Hmmmm. Must put our thinking caps on re this one while patients and their relatives continue to be well shafted as they have for the last 12 years.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was recently in hospital for a week. Being a nurse i knew that i needed to take my mobile telephone with me, my ipod so i could watch films, and a good book. I had great pleasure in telling the woman from patient line who came round the ward in her high heels and power suit where she could stick her service. I told her in a very loud voice so that all of the other patinets could hear that i thought it a disgraceful amount of money to pay to watch crap and that if my reltives wanted to call me it wouldn't cost them a week's wages to call my mobile. She went off in a high healed huff. All three other patients in my bay still paid the price though!